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During the non-profit's board meeting this morning, members voted to oppose House Joint Resolution 6.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. opposes gay marriage amendment

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is adding its voice to the chorus calling on Indiana legislators to abandon efforts to pass a state amendment to define marriage.

During the non-profit's board meeting this morning, members voted to oppose House Joint Resolution 6.

The board did not, however, make the issue one of its top legislative priorities, according to a news release that listed four other items.

"Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is focused on building a business-friendly environment that welcomes all aspects of diversity and talent to our community," the release stated before revealing its highly anticipated stance on HJR 6 in the fifth paragraph. The issue isn't hinted at in the first three-fourths of the page.

The position has become a popular one in a state that has adopted numerous tax and other policies in an effort to market itself to employers as business-friendly.

National and international companies with operations in Indiana could have a harder time recruiting and retaining employees for positions here if the state is seen as hostile to gays.

Mayors from more than a dozen Indiana cities, including Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, earlier this month announced opposition to the amendment.

The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is against it. Several major employers have added their individual voices to the effort, including Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins Engines.

And various institutions of higher education – which are also major employers – have publicly opposed the amendment. They include Indiana University, Ball State University and Wabash College.

Greater Fort Wayne's 2014 legislative agenda, which is available on the organization's website, was drafted before today's meeting and doesn't mention the marriage amendment.

Legislative leaders Brian Bosma and David Long have said they will allow the Republican caucuses to decide whether to proceed with the amendment.

Indiana law already bans gay marriage.

Greater Fort Wayne, the merger of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, bills itself as the "single point of contact for economic growth in Allen County."

The organization's four legislative priorities for the coming session are support for: Economic development incentives, a single county executive for Allen County, increased funding for the EARN Indiana program and a more independent status for IPFW, which is governed by Purdue University.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette, or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.

sslater@jg.net

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